Paris: The ‘most anti-McChrystal city'

Okay, I’ve read the text – or should we say, I’ve squirmed through the offending Rolling Stone article on Gen. Stanley McChrystal.

As a resident of Paris, I’m amused to learn that the City of Lights is, to quote a McChrystal adviser, “the ‘most anti-McChrystal city you can imagine.’”

For the record, I’m not taking offense. I guess if you’re the top US commander in Afghanistan, soldering through the dust of Helmand and you’d just like a Bud Light Lime, candles and Bordeaux on the table might seem a bit ooh-la-la-la.

But I’m being deliberately flippant. There are some serious issues at stake and I’m wondering what the good general is thinking as he makes his way to that White House meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan today.

The meeting, by the way, is closed to the press. So we can only guess what will happen behind closed doors.

It’s here, the much-awaited Pentagon Afghanistan progress report

Just printed my weekend reading: the much-awaited Pentagon report to Congress titled, “Report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan”. That’s 152 pages of mostly not-so-good, but not-all-that-bad either progress report on Afghanistan from Oct. 1, 2009 through March 2010.

For those interested in ploughing through the report, just click here.

For those interested in a summary, here goes: Overall, there were real signs of progress on stability, thanks to the military surge.

Bad news for Afghan President Hamid Karzai though as he prepares for his Washington visit next month: the Afghan population supports Karzai’s government only 29 of the 121 strategically important provinces.

The reason for this? Corruption and inefficiency. This is not going make the current resident at the Arg (the Afghan Presidential Palace) very happy - just as Washington and Kabul were trying to mend those fences…